The beautiful blackwork jacket inspiring my jacket project

I’ve had a lot of questions about blackwork lately.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been talking about my jacket project more or maybe more people are catching the embroidery bug (Catch the bug!  You’ll love it!).  Either way I think it’s awesome.  Monochromatic embroidery like blackwork and scarletwork was used extensively during the 16th and early 17th centuries to embellish all sorts of items from clothing to soft household goods like pillow cases.  If you have been curious about blackwork (or scarletwork, etc) here is a link to my tutorial on monochromatic embroidery.  The tutorial also includes a short pin cushion project so you can try you hand at an small project (and a bonus band motif for those of you wanting to try you hand at a collar and cuffs for a shirt).

Well we didn’t make it out to Fort Raleigh after all but my tutorial on Elizabethan Monochromatic Embroidery is now available in the tutorial section of my website.

I missed  posting this last week but my latest Foundations Revealed article, 1903 Savoye Corset: Patent 74093, was published last week.  It’s outside of my usual area of interest but I’m very excited about this project and very pleased with how it’s turning out.

In other project related news I finally have pictures of my finished venetians.  I’ll try to get them up this week for y’all since I’ve been so slack about posting recently.  I did start my new position last week though.  It’s keeping me very busy but I’m really enjoying it.

My Recreating Elizabethan Bodies tutorial is now available in the tutorial section of my website.  I got it uploaded over the weekend.

Grettir has also made the class notes for is I.33-Liechtenauer Symposium available online.  You can download them here.

This past weekend was Atlantian Crown.  I had a fabulous time but, as usual, I brought my camera and didn’t take it out all day.  I really need to stop that!

Finally, I spent most of Sunday working on it and I’m now nearly finished with my current Foundations Revealed article.  Now I’m hoping that if I really dedicate the rest of the week to it and don’t allow myself to get distracted I can finish it early and possibly be free to day trip Tourney of Friends this weekend.  We’ll see how it goes.

May of you will recall that in February I decided to shelve several projects until I could figure out what I wanted to do with them.

Well, I finally came to some conclusions about at least two of them.


I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it and I decided that it wasn’t writing the tutorials and eBooks that I didn’t enjoy (because I did enjoy writing them) but rather marketing and selling them as well as the self imposed schedule I was trying to keep myself on.  So, all the eBooks formerly for sale will now be freely available in the tutorials section of my website.  I will still continue to publish tutorials and eBooks (although without the self imposed schedule) but I have decided that selling eBooks through my site and blog is not a direction I want to go in after all.  I would much rather make the information freely available.  For those of you who purchased them and are unhappy with this change please contact me privately via email (alison [AT] elizabethanmafia [DOT] com) and I will do whatever I can to make it up to you.


After enjoying a bit of a break I have decided that I will be taking up commissions again but I will be tightening up my schedule and instituting a strict “no more than one commission at a time” rule.  I will also be instituting a new set of policies for commission projects which I will be posting in a detailed “Commission Policies” section to my site.



A pocket in my new venetians.

One of the things that has always attracted me to late 16th Century menswear is their pockets.  There are several examples of trunkhose and a pair of venetians depicted in Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion that include pockets.  Until recently though I’d always been a little unsure of adding them to my own trunkhose.  Even though I thought they were awesome I had always been afraid that if I tried to add them into my own pants that I’d mess them up and end up with big ugly holes instead of ultra cool pockets.

When I decided recently to redo my wardrobe starting with new rapier armor I decided I need to defeat my fear of making pockets.  My new rapier armor would contain the pockets I had always envied in the extant examples.

I started with a pair of venetians patterned after those in Patterns of Fashion.  I still need to attach the waist band and hem the legs but I have successfully completed the pockets so I thought I would include a tutorial on the process.

Adding a Pocket to Your Trunkhose or Ventians

This tutorial is based the Venetians depicted on p. 86 and p. 87 of Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion.  That pattern was drafted up from the original and a muslin made to ensure a proper fit.

Marking the pocket slit.

1. Mark the pocket slit on your hosen based on your pattern. 







Cut open the pocket slit.

2. Cut open the pocket slit. If you have carefully pinned both sides of you pants together to ensure that nothing shifts you may cut both slits at the same time.  However, if you are concerned then just cut one at a time.




The linen for the pocket bag.

3. Cut the linen for the pocket bag.







Measuring the pocket slit.

4. Measure the pocket slit.






Transfering the measurements.

5. Transfer the measurements of the pocket slit to the pocket bag.






The pocket slit sewn up.

6. Sew up the pocket bag taking care to leave the opening that will be sewn into the pocket slit.






The pocket basted and pinned into the pocket slit.

7. Baste the top of the bag to the edge of the pants and carefully pin the edges of the pocket slit and the bag opening together.






The pocket sewn closed.

8. Stitch the edges of the pocket slit and bag together using a whip or blind stitch.  To reinforce the tops and bottoms of the pocket slit use a button hole stitch there.




A finished pocket.

9. Repeat for the other leg and enjoy your new pockets!





Well, I’ve postponed this post for 3 days because I wanted to have pictures to go with it but I still haven’t taken them.  I think I must be the worst costumer ever but hopefully you all will forgive me. 🙂

Last weekend I got a lot of work done on my Flanders gown.  I ironed all my pieces, put the bodice together, lined the skirt, attached the skirt, and even did most of the hand finishing.  In fact right now it is sitting on my dress form lacking only sleeves, a hem, and it’s front fastening.  I’ve even started the sleeve mock up although I think I still need to tweak it a bit.

Tonight I need to pack for KASF so I doubt I’ll have a chance to work on the sleeves but I am going to try to get pictures up so at least y’all will be able to see it in its current state.

Don’t forget our Tutorial BOGO Special!

We are still running a special on our tutorials through February 6th at midnight! From now through then if you purchase one of our tutorials I will email you the second tutorial for free! Please see my website for details!

For those of you who may have missed the announcement last night, my 14th Century Cloth Hosen Tutorial is now available for purchase.

February BOGO Special!

From now through February 6th at midnight if you purchase one of our tutorials I will email you the second tutorial for free!  All you need to do is fill out the email field during the check out process with the email address you want me to mail the tutorial to.  Once your payment has processed I will email you the 2nd tutorial*!

*Please note you will still download the tutorial you purchased from my site by following the link that will be emailed to you once your order has been confirmed.  Please feel free to contact me at alison [AT] elizabethanmafia [DOT] com if you have any questions.

I am very happy and excited to announce that my first ebook, Cloth Hosen and Stockings of the Late 16th and Early 17th Centuries, is now available for purchase through my website!

In honor of this being my first ebook and the Holidays I’ve decided to offer it at the reduced price of $4.95 USD through Christmas.  On Dec 26th the price will go up to $9.95 USD so if you want to pick one up get it before Christmas!


For those of you who are not on Facebook (or who may have missed my post yesterday) last night I finished my 16th and early 17th Century stockings tutorial reformat. My plan is to have it available on my site as the first in a series of ebooks before the end of the year.  I’m very excited about this project.  I’ve been wanting to do a series of costuming and martial arts ebooks for Elizabethan Mafia for a while and I’m very excited to be starting the project with this tutorial.